Food critic Grace Dent has revealed the family tragedy that will make her ‘strong and resilient’ in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.
The writer and Masterchef star, 50, will be joined in the Australian Jungle by celebrities including Britney Spears‘ younger sister Jamie Lynn and First Dates’ Fred Sirieix, when the show hits screens on Sunday.
Ahead of entering the jungle, Grace shed light on her personal life, as she revealed she has lost both her parents over the past ‘four or five years’ and confessed she believes her loss will make her stronger on the show.
The star admitted she has ‘been through a really difficult time’ after she was a carer for her dementia-stricken father before he passed away while she later lost her mother to cancer within the short space of time.
She said: ‘This is going to be a big challenge and now I am older, life is for living and it’s one of the reasons why I said yes.’
Speaking out: Food critic Grace Dent has revealed the family tragedy that will make her ‘strong and resilient’ in the I’m A Celebrity jungle
Daddy’s girl: Ahead of entering the jungle, Grace shed light on her personal life, as she revealed she has lost both her parents over the past ‘four or five years’ and confessed she believes her loss will make her stronger on the show (pictured with her father)
Stars of the show! : Fred Sirieix, Grace Dent, Danielle Harold, Marvin Humes, Josie Gibson, Jamie Lynn Spears, Sam Thompson, Nella Rose, Nigel Farage and Nick Pickard (L-R)
Grace has spoken publicly about her parents and in in 2020, she wrote in The Guardian about her father’s battle with dementia, penning: ‘There is so much I want to say to Dad, but I can’t bring myself to…
‘Dementia is really awkward, not just painful and frightening, embarrassing, I don’t like to be left alone with Dad. But sometimes I can see terror in his eyes…
‘Sometimes, as Dad talks nowadays, midway through a nonsensical sentence his brain catches up, and right then, he understands the total ridiculousness of what he is saying, and pure shame passes across his face.’
Grace, who was spotted arriving in Australia on Monday, has spoken about the prospect of eating while she languishes on the show.
On the subject of the food in the jungle, Grace admitted even a professional like herself would struggle with a lack of herbs and spices to season food.
She said: ‘Everything is filling me with a real sense of dread. But I am especially dreading being really hungry because I tend to eat four or five posh meals out a week because I am a restaurant critic.’
She confessed she knows what bosses will have in store: ‘I know they are going to give me an eating trial and I am dreading putting even worse things in my mouth than I have in the past in fancy restaurants!..
‘I think I will be writing very stiff columns about the jungle food when I come out! Will I cook there? Yes, I am a practical cook but it is not cooking as we know it in the jungle…
Oh no: Grace, who was spotted arriving in Australia on Monday, has spoken about the prospect of eating while she languishes on the show
Sweet: Grace has previously spoken about the pain of losing her parents
‘What makes food is herbs and spices and I am not going to have any ingredients. I don’t know how you are going to make an alligator’s foot taste delicious if there are no spices…
‘I can already imagine the dinner I am going to have the moment I get out. I am going to go to a really fancy restaurant and have something delicious, wearing a lovely dress.’
On her main aim of entering the show, Grace went on: ‘I am just determined to not go out first. And if I can get quite far, I would be really pleased…
‘I don’t want my life to be different when I finish this programme. I don’t want to change anything at all but this is such a great challenge. It’s going to be fun.’
Grace was born in Carlisle and went on to pursue further education at Stirling University, bagging herself an English Literature degree in the process.
During her time at university, Dent kicked off her journalism career, writing features for Cosmopolitan, according to The Sun.
After leaving full-time education, she had quite the illustrious writing career, working as an editorial assistant for Vogue, and then a freelance journalist for various magazines such as Marie Claire, Glamour and more.
Starring role: Grace often appears on various TV shows critiquing people’s plates – you may have seen appear in MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, MasterChef UK
She also spent 12 years, from 2000 until 2012 writing about all things TV, before making her way to The Independent.
For six years she wrote a restaurant column dubbed ‘Grace and Flavour’, for The Evening Standard. The food critic is currently employed by The Guardian.
Grace often appears on various TV shows critiquing people’s plates – you may have seen appear in MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, MasterChef UK.
She was also a judge on a BBC program called the Great British Menu.
But you won’t only find Grace in the kitchen, she has also appeared on an array of shows including, The Apprentice: You’re Fired, The Now Show on Radio 4, Have I Got News For You, Very British Problems.
The food critic has also appeared on Pointless Celebrities, The Review Show Film 2012, Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe, The Culture Show and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled.
Foodie Grace has also penned numerous novels over the years, and was even on the shortlist for the Queen of Teen prize in 2008. Amongst her books series’ for teenage audiences include Diary of a Snob, Diary of a Chav and LBD.
She published her first non-fiction novel named How To Leave Twitter (My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop) in 2011.
Novelist: The columnist has also penned her very own novels and was even on the shortlist for the Queen of Teen prize in 2008
Accomplished: The food critic has had an impressive career, working for an array of titles including, Vogue, The Independent, Cosmopolitan and more